Model Trains

Gilbert Fixes

Finally found some time to fix up Gilbert, the winter was pretty hard on it. I added a water tower and cleaned up the buildings a bit. Still needs some ballast work but it’s coming along.

A very generous fellow named Darrell Lamm gave me this locomotive. For free. Just so I could test my receivers in it! It is a very nice model, all metal, with an already installed Lok Sound DCC decoder. Amazing. The only problem is that it is one size smaller than the scale I run, I have no place to run it. Anyhow, despite being O scale instead of G, this locomotive has plenty of room for my stock Protothrottle Receiver. Battery, Receiver, DCC Amp and a 5v power supply. Since I don’t really have any O scale track (one three foot section is all I own), I will probably sell this at some point, not sure.

I originally built this as an office for the RV Park but it doesn’t seem quite right in the role, so I made it a Post Office in my new town of Proffit VA. I’ve got it installed and wired into the solar grid.

Blu Phone Sends Bluetooth to control Aristo U25B with Soundtraxx TSU-4400. 2200 mAh Lipo battery, Full range TangBang speaker with passive radiator. Rewired the lights for LEDs. Good speed and power on the U25 at 14.8v.

Since my Python Apps do not work on any Android Version greater than 6, I am working on re-writing them in Android Studio. At first I was not particularly thrilled that I had to re-write everything but now I’m starting to really like Android Studio. I’ve decided to add additional functionality so that I only need one App. The name of the bluetooth device (the locomotive name) will now allow the app to ‘configure itself’ when the locomotive is chosen on the phone. If the locomotive uses a TSU-4400 SoundTraxx decoder, the appropriate screens will come up for that. I am also going to allow the main screen to be programmed, change the icons and what function codes are associated with them.

Cat Gut

Adding the Bluetooth Controller to my Chessie U25B. Bluetooth board, Soundtraxx TSU-4400 and DCC Amplifier. 2.2 inch tangbang speaker with passive radiator. Servos on the couplers. There is a 2200mAh lipo in the fuel tank.

I already had this locomotive hooked up for the most part, I was driving it with my Xbee Board so I swapped that out with the Bluetooth version. I also replaced a tiny speaker I had in the front with the one in the picture (on the left). Much Much cleaner sound mix. Bells and horns out of the front and the prime mover going to the back speaker with the passive radiator.

Here it is out on the layout, ready for a test run.

Here is a video of some basic testing. It still needs some tweaking on momentum and motor voltages. Please forgive the poor video and sound quality- my nice camera died and this is my backup.

I also ran my latest version of the Generic DCC Phone app. Works quite well now. The QSI is a tad on the finicky side however so I made a very small mod to the firmware in the Bluetooth Widget. Once I back test that on the other decoders I’ll roll it into the firmware release.

You can find all of my Android Train Control Apps on Google Play.